Hennepin Avenue (Franklin to 36th)

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mattaudio
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Hennepin Avenue (Franklin to 36th)

Postby mattaudio » January 10th, 2013, 2:26 pm

Comments seem to be closed over at Streets.MN and I forget if we talked about this last summer:
https://streets.mn/2012/07/15/what-if-w ... -hennepin/

Levinson's original map:
http://goo.gl/maps/YKAA

Grid reconnect:
http://goo.gl/maps/TjQbV
I tried to create more direct connections between 26th/Lagoon and 28th/Lake. This helps the existing traffic flows while reducing lanes on Hennepin south of 26th, and the two directions never go through the same intersection. 26th/Hennepin and Lagoon/Hennepin seem to be a mess, and left turning traffic from Lake to North Hennepin also seems to be a mess right now. Thoughts?

UptownSport
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Re: Hennepin Avenue

Postby UptownSport » February 6th, 2013, 12:22 am

We could remove all 'links', that should really cut down on travel time

Tcmetro
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Re: Hennepin Avenue

Postby Tcmetro » February 6th, 2013, 10:15 am

Maybe put up a fence between the roadway and the sidewalks? I'd be just like London!

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Re: Hennepin Avenue

Postby Wedgeguy » November 21st, 2013, 3:43 pm

Hennepin seems to remain in flux. With some stores moving around there will be more emphasis now on retail. Has anyone that drive Hennepin on a daily basis noticed a large increase in traffic due to the new developments.

With the end of exterior construction on the library. I hope that they have Hennepin finally opened to all lanes at Lagoon and Hennepin.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue

Postby twincitizen » April 16th, 2014, 1:39 pm

I honestly never noticed before that you are not allowed to make a left off of southbound Hennepin during either AM or PM peak. I knew about the no-left-turn restriction onto Franklin, since that one is a no brainer. From a recent drive, I observed that the first legal opportunity to make a left turn was at 28th Street. All of these restrictions make perfect sense (trying to get to The Wedge neighborhood? Take SB Lyndale.)

My question for those of you that do drive on Hennepin is: are the peak hour restrictions enough? Is 7-9am and 4-6pm sufficient? Are there any other simple changes or restrictions you would enact to improve traffic flow (and thereby bus travel speeds)?

Similar restrictions do not appear to exist for SB left turns into businesses/curb cuts. Is that an issue for SB traffic flow?

While SB Hennepin no doubt has very high traffic counts in the PM peak, you would think that traffic would/should move right along with no left turns allowed and proper stoplight timing.

(Here's where I get plan-y and optimistic)
Theoretically, if you could squeeze in a dedicated left turn lane at 28th (and/or 26th if those streets get two-way conversions), wouldn't the inner traffic lane be sufficient for traffic flow, and the right traffic lane (Franklin to Uptown Transit Station) be dedicated to buses and right turns?? You could move the bus stops to far-side so right turns would not be impeded. Are there any huge critical flaws in that proposal? Again, this is specifically concerning southbound traffic, which already has a near-total left-turn ban in both peak periods.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue

Postby David Greene » April 16th, 2014, 1:49 pm

twincitizen wrote:My question for those of you that do drive Hennepin is, are the peak hour restrictions enough? Is 7-9am and 4-6pm sufficient? Are there any other simple changes or restrictions you would enact to improve traffic flow (and thereby bus travel speeds)?
1. Forbid lefts into Lyle's at all times

2. Put a giant "No Left Turn" sign on the traffic light at 26th like at all the other intersections. It's crazy that every intersection except the one that *always* has a no-left restriction has those big signs.

3. The SA is the other big southbound bottleneck but I don't think it's practical to forbid lefts there, even if only at peak.

Overall I think things work reasonably well given the traffic volumes. I don't see a need to extend peak hours.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue

Postby twincitizen » April 16th, 2014, 1:59 pm

Just from a quick trip down Google Street View, I knew the SA was probably an issue. Why not ban left turns into SA? No need gumming up traffic so people can screw around getting gas and smokes during PM peak. Bad behavior should be discouraged. Why wouldn't it be practical if there was a total ban on left turns between Franklin and 28th?

*Note, I buy gas during PM peak, but I perform a right-in, right-out to do it.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue

Postby gpete » April 16th, 2014, 2:24 pm

twincitizen wrote:Just from a quick trip down Google Street View, I knew the SA was probably an issue. Why not ban left turns into SA?
There's a Holiday station right across the street from SA. Southbound traffic can make a right turn into Holiday to get their gas and smokes.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue

Postby David Greene » April 16th, 2014, 3:27 pm

Sure, we could forbid lefts into the SA but I imaging they'd resist that a bit.

There are some lefts (into apartment buildings and businesses) that just aren't accessible any other way without effectively doing a U-turn so those have to stay. Fortunately, they don't really cause a problem since those movements are really rare IME.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue

Postby ECtransplant » April 16th, 2014, 3:40 pm

If I were king, I'd remove the on street parking during rush hour and convert it to dedicated bus ROW

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Re: Hennepin Avenue

Postby David Greene » April 16th, 2014, 4:30 pm

ECtransplant wrote:If I were king, I'd remove the on street parking during rush hour and convert it to dedicated bus ROW
Actually, that could probably almost work. There are some shops like Wuollet that I have no doubt benefit from the parking being used by commuters going to work. If the structured parking in the Five Guys mall were advertised better it could serve a district parking function. It wouldn't really help Wuollet but there is plenty of parking between off-street locations on Hennepin and the residential streets in the area pretty much everywhere along Hennepin.

Oh, but I can just imagine the business uproar...

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Re: Hennepin Avenue

Postby Minneapolisite » April 16th, 2014, 5:43 pm

ECtransplant wrote:If I were king, I'd remove the on street parking during rush hour and convert it to dedicated bus ROW
They've already been doing that in Seattle on the half dozen BRT-lite bus routes they have traversing the city (vs our zero). Business districts there are still full of businesses too.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue

Postby twincitizen » April 16th, 2014, 6:41 pm

Is the parking lane 11' wide and totally free of obstructions so the bus mirrors wouldn't hit signs, tree branches, streetlights, etc.? I really doubt that it is.

You couldn't do bus-only curb-lane without completely rebuilding the street, and possibly losing some sidewalk and/or boulevard width. There's also the issue of snow removal. It would have to be plowed bare to the curb (and then removed from the sidewalk/boulevard entirely), otherwise your buses would end up driving halfway in the right lane. I don't think the idea of buses sailing down the curb lane is the most ideal situation either. Parked cars serve as a buffer to make sidewalks feel safer, businesses more inviting, etc.

Regarding David's comment about residential entrances, those folks could use SB Lyndale and access Hennepin via the east-west cross streets. We already ban left turns at intersections from SB Hennepin for a reason...there'd have to be a really compelling case for it not to be a total ban. Are there that many curb cuts directly off Hennepin in the first place?

Regarding the timespan, I'm not convinced 6pm is late enough. 6:30 would be better, and align perfectly with Metro Transit's rush hour pricing. I was just on eastbound Lake at Lyndale, where left turns to NB Lyndale are banned 4-6pm (there are no turn lanes on Lake). Left turning cars at 6:30 pm were still messing things up pretty bad.

min-chi-cbus
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Re: Hennepin Avenue

Postby min-chi-cbus » April 16th, 2014, 8:17 pm

twincitizen wrote:I honestly never noticed before that you are not allowed to make a left off of southbound Hennepin during either AM or PM peak. I knew about the no-left-turn restriction onto Franklin, since that one is a no brainer. From a recent drive, I observed that the first legal opportunity to make a left turn was at 28th Street. All of these restrictions make perfect sense (trying to get to The Wedge neighborhood? Take SB Lyndale.)

My question for those of you that do drive on Hennepin is: are the peak hour restrictions enough? Is 7-9am and 4-6pm sufficient? Are there any other simple changes or restrictions you would enact to improve traffic flow (and thereby bus travel speeds)?

Similar restrictions do not appear to exist for SB left turns into businesses/curb cuts. Is that an issue for SB traffic flow?

While SB Hennepin no doubt has very high traffic counts in the PM peak, you would think that traffic would/should move right along with no left turns allowed and proper stoplight timing.

(Here's where I get plan-y and optimistic)
Theoretically, if you could squeeze in a dedicated left turn lane at 28th (and/or 26th if those streets get two-way conversions), wouldn't the inner traffic lane be sufficient for traffic flow, and the right traffic lane (Franklin to Uptown Transit Station) be dedicated to buses and right turns?? You could move the bus stops to far-side so right turns would not be impeded. Are there any huge critical flaws in that proposal? Again, this is specifically concerning southbound traffic, which already has a near-total left-turn ban in both peak periods.
Can I offer a quasi-related question/suggestion: digital signs.

In other words, if the "no left turn" sign was digital you could turn it on and off at a whim and not have to worry about making some of these decisions permanently. Personally I'm not sure why there aren't more digital signs and other interchangable options (also including the flashing yellow left-turn signal, which I've heard about being employed more in MN but haven't heard of much implementation).

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Re: Hennepin Avenue

Postby RailBaronYarr » April 16th, 2014, 8:22 pm

Just a simple question, but isn't doing these things like no left turns, etc more of a band-aid that reinforce Hennepin as a through-route from downtown/94 to Lake and points westward, at least during rush hours? If peak flow is so high that we can't justify cutting down from 2 lanes in each direction, and left turns serving businesses and neighborhoods disrupt peak flow so much we must ban them... isn't there something fundamentally wrong with how the region uses Hennepin?

But yes, I think short-term extending the hours of no lefts makes perfect sense to help speed up buses.. I've thought the curb-running peak hour bus lanes would be a great workaround, but twincitizen highlights some solid challenges. It's not like each travel lane is 13' wide to take some space, either..

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Re: Hennepin Avenue

Postby Tcmetro » April 16th, 2014, 10:35 pm

The problem is that Hennepin is the main route between two major centers, Uptown and Downtown. Logically, with more office and residential development in both, traffic is going to increase. There really isn't much that can be done to mitigate traffic problems. Because Hennepin is a diagonal and doesn't have any parallels, through traffic cannot be relegated to a one-way couplet on nearby residential streets, a la Nicollet. Banning left turns would be helpful. Otherwise, bus lanes could be constructed, or perhaps on-street parking could be banned and a center turn lane could be established.

Transit improvements are difficult. Underground light rail is expensive, and Elevated light-rail is a no-go. Streetcars will be caught in the same traffic as cars, and the inflexibility of streetcars to move around turning cars on such a busy street is a clear disadvantage to buses. Buses themselves are a second-rate solution for such a major corridor. So there's no clear "right" option, but something will have to be done in the long run.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue

Postby David Greene » April 16th, 2014, 10:39 pm

Tcmetro wrote:The problem is that Hennepin is the main route between two major centers, Uptown and Downtown.
Indeed. Hennepin is where it is because of St. Anthony Falls and Lake Calhoun. It's pretty hard to change hundreds of years of transportation habit.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue

Postby twincitizen » April 16th, 2014, 11:33 pm

I think that adding SWLRT access at West Lake will alleviate some of that "cut through" automobile traffic using Hennepin. Hwy 100 is being expanded as well, so maybe 100>394 will become more attractive to folks who live in the area between West Calhoun and 100, though I can't imagine many folks living that far west are choosing Lake>Hennepin over the highway. I do think people in the West Calhoun and Dean Parkway area are choosing Lake>Hennepin, because it is their only choice. There is no other route to get downtown. Also, they'd have to put up with a much longer bus ride than someone living in Uptown. It's probably for this same reason that the Hennepin aBRT was envisioned to swing west on Lake Street, rather than continue down Hennepin south of Uptown.

To Alex's question, "Is there something wrong with the way the region uses Hennepin?", I think we'd all say, absolutely yes there is. The problem is that, short of grade separated rail in the corridor, there aren't really any alternatives. At the same time that we are coming up with fixes (SWLRT, more capacity on 100, maybe aBRT in semi-dedicated lanes) we are also rapidly increasing the population and employment in the area, creating more demand. Unless Minneapolis wins the lottery and puts a subway under Hennepin Avenue, it's going to remain a busy through route for the foreseeable future. We have to work with what we've got and try to make the very best of it for a realistic sum of money.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue

Postby PhilmerPhil » April 16th, 2014, 11:46 pm

Hennepin currently sucks for everyone: cars, bikes, buses, and peds.

What would happen if we made Hennepin an amazing place for bikes and even better for pedestrians? Yes, it would suck a little more for cars and buses, but I think Minneapolis would be a better place to live because of it, even if took 30 minutes to take a bus from Uptown to downtown. Just imagine a people-oriented Hennepin Ave with a road diet, wider sidewalks with room for cafes and sidewalk sales, and a curb protected bikeway.

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Re: Hennepin Avenue

Postby FISHMANPET » April 16th, 2014, 11:58 pm

How wide is Hennepin? What about wider sidewalks, bike lanes, single narrow lane of traffic, and dedicated transit lane in the center including a modern streetcar.


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